Owl 360 serves as a third eye for cyclists
By Ben Coxworth
September 15, 2011
What do cars have that bicycles don't? Lots and lots of things, actually, but one of those is a rearview mirror. While both cyclists and drivers have to shoulder check when changing lanes, cyclists additionally have to twist all the way around in order to see what's directly behind them. Helmet- and handlebar-mounted side mirrors are certainly one way to minimize that twisting, but for people who like stuff, there's another - mini rearview camera and monitor systems. Cerevellum has just started taking orders for one called the Hindsight, which now has a competitor known as the Owl 360.
The Owl consists of a CMOS video camera that attaches to the bike's seatpost, and a 3.5-inch monitor that attaches to the handlebars. A cord connects the two devices. The monitor contains a 3.7-volt lithium-polymer rechargeable battery, that powers both the monitor and camera for a reported five hours per charge. The handlebar mounting bracket has a hot shoe connection, so the monitor can easily be removed before the bike is left unattended.
The camera is surrounded by a ring of ten red LEDs, which will automatically start flashing when the built-in light sensor notices that it's getting dark outside. Both the camera and monitor are said to be weather-resistant and vibration-protected.
Consumers can expect to pay US$179.99 for the Owl 360 when it hits stores, although it is available now for preorder via the company website.